Weeks after he slapped Joc Pederson in the face over a fantasy football dispute, Tommy Pham doubled down on his actions in new comments to the media. Pham claimed the San Francisco Giants outfielder deserved it, adding that he has been congratulated for striking Pederson.
Speaking to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Pham expressed no contrition over the incident between himself and Pederson ahead of the Cincinnati Reds' next series with the Giants on June 24-26. Pham slapped Pederson during pre-game warmups on May 27 as a result of a feud stemming from a fantasy football league the two played in during the 2021 season.
"I've got no regrets. None at all," Pham said. "Joc deserved to be slapped."
Pham accepted a three-game suspension as a result of the incident, a punishment that would have been much longer had he not accepted a deal from Major League Baseball. The original plan was to suspend Pham anywhere from eight to 10 games, the same punishment Rougned Odor received for punching Jose Bautista during a game in 2016.
Pham also took chagrin to the Giants organization as a whole, claiming that pitching coach Andrew Bailey made comments about him behind his back and that the team had threatened to file assault charges against Pham or not play on May 27. The Giants recently wore T-Shirts mocking Pham's point of contention, a gesture he did not appreciate.
"They're the ones who keep bringing this (expletive) up," Pham said. "They're the ones who didn't want me to play. Now look at them."
Pham went further to claim that "100 people" thanked him for slapping Pederson, a group he claimed extended from players to coaches to reporters. Overall, Pham declared that Pederson was lucky he only slapped him over the dispute, which stemmed from what Pham believed was blatant cheating on Pederson's part as well as derogatory statements made by Pederson towards him and his former team, the San Diego Padres.
Despite the incident, Pham says he may play in the same fantasy football league he and Pederson were in last year, a league that features a $10,000 buy-in. However, Pham expressed that the league needed a commissioner who would enforce its rules, something he did not believe former league commissioner and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout did.